NATASHA KUSEN, The Australian Ballet
What drew you to being a ballet dancer?
I don’t actually remember what drew me to being a ballet dancer but I believe I just got caught up in what I thought was just an after school routine and found myself strangely enjoying being told what to do and having the feelings of the movements and shape making become like second nature to me. So when I started to think about it as a possible future I couldn’t imagine life without it, my heart was far too into it to look back… so I continued, to this day still discovering & appreciating a lot more from this art form that I could have ever imagined.
What is unique about you as a dancer, what stands out in your work?
My unique quality would be my stage artistry, my teacher used to focus so much on story telling and I find that side of this career most enjoyable. I have also been told my arabesque and lines are my strength and my bendy legs and feet. But from my point of view these blessed assets are a b**ch to work with!!
What ballet talents do you admire in others?
I admire my colleagues continuous determination, grit and pure hard work they all pour into the studios day in and day out. Also seeing all that hard work blossom to the stage and watching them in amazement how they conquer personal hurdles under such high pressure performances. A work ethic quality you just don’t find in any other work place.
Who is your favourite dancer?
I’m drawn to dancers that stir emotions in me when I’m watching them. There is nothing more inspirational than watching a dancer getting caught up in the moment and I don’t even notice the steps they are dancing. There are so many ballerinas that inspires me, but I do vividly remember watching Tamara Rojo practice La Bayadere when I was at the Royal Ballet School as an extra and I could not keep my eyes off her! She has such a magnetic presence!
How would you describe ballet culture?
We are a bunch of hardworking, funny, sweaty, disciplined and wild crazy humans constantly chasing that unattainable ideal of perfection.
What was your first performance like?
My first performance with the Australian Ballet was The Three Musketeers. I was a dancing maid that held a jug. ? But then it stepped up in the next season, ‘Mr B’ the Balanchine program. One of the hardest yet rewarding ballets to perform, Serenade & Symphony in C. In which was just pure dancing in tutus, no jugs!
What do you like doing outside of work?
I love hanging out with my boyfriend and dragging him out to popular brunch places that you to have to wait hours for. (He hates it ?) Strolling through new exhibitions at the National Galllery of Victoria, soaking up some sunshine either at the Park or beach and also brainstorming on my next article for my style blog.
What is your signature studio rehearsal outfit?
Comfortable and no fuss. My go to is normally a Keto leo, Pink tights, Pointe shoes, and a printed rehearsal skirt.
Tell us about your online blog Studio to Street!?
Studio to Street is my new venture into the blogging world. It’s a style blog focusing on all kinds of professionals on their personal style from studio to street wear. I’ve combined my love of fashion, dance, writing and interest in photography in order to profile some interesting people I’ve come across in my life and share their stories and style including my own on and off duty ballerina style.
You can find my curated Instagram page on @studio.to.street and my blog website, www.studiotostreet.com.au